Friday, April 30, 2010

A problem of memory

This Sunday, the ladies I belly dance with and I have a performance. We're doing a very, very quick dance. It's WAY FUN.....but it's also very tricky. There are good and bad sides to quick dances. The good is that if you miss a step, so long as you think quick, you can catch back up without too much notice due to the fact that we really aren't holding positions for extended periods. The bad part is that we're moving so fast that it is very easy to miss a step! Catch 22, right?

I promised myself an extended practice sessions for the next few nights after the last rehearsal before the Hafla (performance) on Wednesday was a disaster! I turned the wrong way. I missed whole sections. I stepped on and nearly tripped over my shirt. Man oh man! I don't want to embarrass myself (too much). So, practice makes perfect. Or so I hope. Thursday night's practice was......less than stellar. I ran through it till I literally couldn't go any further (and was dying of heartburn from shimmying so much after dinner), and I did not have a "perfect" dance in the lot. Good grief! More practice is necessary!

Hopefully it will stick! Here's to trying.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


You never know what's important to you in a wedding (not a marriage, a wedding) until you plan one. We were almost always willing to work with each other about how the day and the event would go....until we hit a few sticking points. And let me tell you, they were NOT the same points you'd expect!

My sticking points:
  • The venue had to be able to accommodate both the ceremony and reception. I hate the idea of transportation between venues and dual rental fees.
  • The food had to be great.

His sticking points:
  • Saturday and Sunday ONLY. I brought up a Friday night once. Let's just say it didn't go well.
  • There had to be some form of open bar.
  • His bout had to be different than all the other bouts.

Thankfully, these were fairly easy to do and there were so few of them that we worked around each others "musts". I can imagine that there are definitely areas that clash in some weddings though. I have to say from my own experience, I was surprised that he had "musts". Stereotypically, brides are the ones that "have to have things a certain way", not grooms. But they have them! And really, that made me really happy to do things that mattered to him.

Have you run into any situations where the "musts" can't be combined? How do you deal with that?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's no secret....I love breakfast. I love all kinds of breakfasts. Breakfast in. Breakfast out. Breakfast for dinner. LOVE breakfast. I have no idea where this comes from, nor do I care. My blood sugar demands that I eat breakfast, but it's my love of it that inspires me to make lovely breakfasts on the weekends.

Well, lately, I've been reading blogs written by ladies that have EPIC breakfasts!

Kath Eats Real Food
Healthy Tipping Point
Cait's Plate
The Edible Perspective

How do these ladies have time to make these wonderful meals every morning?! I'm totally jealous. I barely have time to nuke regular oatmeal, much less make it on the stove top with sliced fruits and such. Maybe one of these days I'll have my act together?

Ashley's amazing looking bowl of oats from The Edible Perspective....can she make me breakfast??

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New horizons?

I'm so excited! There's a possibility that I might be helping someone else with details and aspects of their wedding. I'd absolutely love to be involved in making other people's visions come to life. I know how the details of the day made me feel. I've heard from my guests that they really felt our wedding was personal and warm. I want other brides to feel the same. If I can be a little part of that, it would be utterly fulfilling.

Here's to exciting new things!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Oh my goodness, I guess I needed an impromptu weekend off! It was a busy weekend, but I really didn't mean to skip my blogs. My apologies.

I find that occasionally I get huge reminders of how blessed I am. This was just a truly wonderful weekend. Hairdresser bridesmaid and I were spoiled rotten by all my friends at the faire. Plus, we had a wonderful, carefree time. It was well overdue since her dad's passing. I am so grateful to have friends like her and my faire friends. It was just a pleasure. My husband had a wonderful day of gaming while we were gone. I love that we can spend time apart, without worrying about the other....or worse getting jealous or suspicious or some other petty thing. No, we can really appreciate that "alone time", even though neither of us was actually alone. I guess I should call it "apart time". We had a wonderful laid-back Saturday night followed by a productive Sunday mixed with some good old sprawling on the couch time together. Then a trek out to see our nephew play baseball. It was a full day, yet each bit of it felt so rich and easy-going. Just an amazing day, to be sure. Yeah, weekends like this fuel me, carry me to the next weekend to come.

Does any one else ever get struck by how many little blessings you have in your life?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday.....oh yes

We've made it! Wow, some weeks just seem endless. And of course, ever week during Scarborough seems longer and harder due to having to catch up for the time spent having fun instead of being productive as well as the anticipation of having more fun in the weekend to come! This weekend, I get a special treat. Hairdresser bridesmaid is going with me!!! For some odd reason, when we walk around together, people randomly call us Trouble! Now why do you suppose that is??

But first.....a date at home with my love! Time for us to slow down, sit with beers while something yummy grills up for us, and just spend some time enjoying each other before the weekend gets hectic. Friday nights and Saturday mornings are the highlight of my week!

I hope you have something wonderful planned for yours!

Okay, so maybe I DO know why they call us Trouble....and I like it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I hate to admit this, but I miss having something to plan. I love planning. Planning the wedding was stressful and not entirely fun, but it gave me something to focus my energy on. My job is fairly mundane, so focusing my attention is fairly important. I'm trying to get some things going that I can really throw myself into - like jewelry for the Etsy shop - but I haven't quite gotten to the action phase. That's still in "gather materials needed" phase, sadly. Hopefully, I'll get my act together soon. I definitely need the distraction.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The thing that started my DIY craze

This little box. So simple, yet I loved the idea. Just a few days after getting engaged, we attended our friends' wedding. We brought a card with a gift inside. A lot of people brought cards with gifts inside. What do you do with this card? It's so little. It's flat. It's in a non-noticeable, non-obnoxious color. How am I to assure myself that the bride and groom will, indeed, get this little gift. Well, there was a stack of cards, so I just added to the stack. Then in my newly engaged state, I searched for a way to deal with the card issue. I found the this idea on Do It Yourselves Weddings. I thought it was brilliant! It was also very affordable; way under $20 due to the use of lots of remnants and found items around the house.

The best part: people used it! It was stuffed to the gills at the wedding.

Photo by A Love Story Photography.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Breakfast fail

I really wanted oatmeal this morning. My microwave has a very different idea. My cereal bowls area too shallow, and the oatmeal boils over if I don't watch it like a hawk. I thought I'd be smarter about it, so I used a deep plastic container today. I set it for two minutes, because even my shallow cereal bowls don't overflow by then, and make the coffee. Buzzer rang, time to stir.......and oatmeal was EVERYWHERE. Apparently my "smarter" plan was not actually that smart. Now I am on the hunt for a better oatmeal bowl! If anyone spies something worthwhile, please let me know. I want my oatmeal dang it! :)

Let us hope this is not an indicator for the day, eh?

Monday, April 19, 2010

More weekend please

Oh my, this weekend ended up being FAR more busy than I imagined it would be! Friday was sushi and a movie with a large group of friends. Saturday, the rain stayed at bey so that my baby and I could enjoy Scarborough together. Oh that was such a nice day!!! Sunday, I went back to Scarborough alone in the drizzle (which is basically perfect weather if you ask me) while he stayed home playing an online game with his best friend.

It was basically a perfect weekend. Just wish she had a bit more of it.

Have a great start to a new week, everyone!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rainy day blues

The rain had ALL WEEK to get this crap out of its system, yet it has to pick Saturday to pour and storm and KEEP ME FROM SCARBOROUGH?! And on one of the few, rare, precious Saturday that I get to spend time with my baby too. AGH!!!

Holding out hope that it will pass over quickly. Otherwise, I am going to be one very, very unhappy rennie.


Friday, April 16, 2010


Check that baby out! Isn't it lovely?? It's the hubby's new ride, a 2011 Sonata SE. I think Ruby likes her. They look good together.

Name still to be determined, so for now.....newest member of the household!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Tuesday, my baby tells me he has a surprise for me. Yay! I heart surprises, big time! He said I had to wait til we were both home to get it. So, I waited. I don't really pry too much when it comes to surprises because well, what's the point of a surprise then?! So, he asks for my phone when he gets home (I was home sick), plugs in a chip, pushes some buttons, and gives the phone back. Then he calls me......

"Our whole universe was in a hot dense state. Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion stated. Wait......"

He'd put the Big Bang Theory theme song by Bare Naked Ladies as HIS ringtone on my phone!!!! That song makes me utterly giddy! I dance to it every time I hear it, and he giggles (even though he'd rather just fast forward through it). He made the ringtone for me too; he didn't just download it and install it. He had to reformat it into ringtone form. How cool is he?! And how thoughtful. :)

Now I just play it randomly so that I can jump up and down and shout "BANG!" at the end. What can I say.....I'm a goofball!

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sick day

Well, I ended up staying home Tuesday. My allergies got completely out of hand. My throat swelled nearly closed and my head felt like it was trapped in a vice. After failing an attempted shower, I crawled back in bed, emerging only to make lunch for my love and fall back to sleep on the couch in an allergy med induced stupor. My entire morning passed that way. The rest of the day, I just felt stung out on antihistamines, which is highly unpleasant.

Here's to hoping Wednesday is a bit more pleasant!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My favorite morning

I woke up the morning of our wedding in my own bed....our space bed. No alarm went off. I just opened my eyes, just before the sun. I was snuggled up and warm....right next to the man whose arms I'd fallen asleep in. I slept well. I got a full night's sleep the night before my wedding - a thing I'd been told was impossible to accomplish.

"It's Christmas!"

He gave a very sleepy giggle. Of course, you all know, I didn't get married at Christmas. :) We meandered to the living room and shared a pot of coffee, nipped with hazelnut liquor and almond biscottis that were left over from making the favors. I made a good, homemade breakfast. He played video games. I sat at the kitchen table and scheduled a couple blogs for during the honeymoon while listening to our wedding playlists. We practiced our first dance in our lounging clothes (except I had my wedding shoes on, which is pretty funny with pajama pants). Then we showered, and he ran out for a few missing items and lunch for us and two bridesmaids. We were together, alone, until about 1:30pm. We left the house an hour later, with the two bridesmaids and all of our booty for the wedding packed neatly into my Element.

It was the most amazingly relaxed morning I have ever experienced. Thanks to my wonderful maids (and honorary extra maid), everything for the wedding that could be finished ahead of time, was. There was nothing lingering that needed our attention. We'd even loaded the car the night before. All we had to do was shower, and I had to do my makeup. Everything else had to wait til we got to the venue, and there was no need to worry about that ahead of time. We were utterly calm on our way out of the house. The stress that occurred after we arrived at the venue was made far more palatable by our slow, stress-free morning alone. It just strengthened what I already knew about our relationship - together, we are far more likely to succeed at whatever we put our minds to and far more effectively and efficiently than we could alone. It made me even more confident in the vows we would be making later that day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alone time

I debated and actually sort of agonized over whether my husband and I should spend the night before our wedding apart. Did we want to tempt the fabled "bad luck" of seeing each other on our wedding day? It really came down to two issues.

First I had to research the tradition to decide if it even made any sense for us and who we are as a couple. That's how I decided whether or not to use almost every tradition attached to weddings. After a little digging, it turned out that brides and grooms were kept separate so that one party could not change their mind at the last minute based on looks in arranged marriages where the betrothed couples had never met. This is not an arranged marriage. The tradition of this stand point seemed lacking. I believe in our culture today, we're suppose to be kept separate to keep us from fighting out of stress. Again, if we can't work together during stressful occasion, we don't need to be getting married yet. Life is stressful, after all, and I chose to seek him out in times of stress, not avoid him.

Once tradition was thrown out the window, we had to look at practicality. I know that waiting to see him at the head of the aisle for the first time that day would have been far more dramatic and climactic. Other brides have told me that they didn't think they'd get the much of a reaction if they'd seen their groom all day leading up to that. So, I worried I was robbing us of this feeling. Worse, I worried I was robbing our guests of witnessing that heightened emotion. Semantics would have been a nightmare though. We did not hire coordinators. Our family and friends pulled together to set up the venue in an hour and a half....part of which I had to disappear to put my dress on and finish my hair. Our venue was a wide, open space. There was no way for us to both be in the venue at the same time without seeing each other. The practicality of avoiding one another seemed even more stressful than coming together to make this wedding ROCK.

After much thought and many conversations with one another, we decided that we really didn't want to be apart during one of the most exciting days of our relationship so far. No energy was put into staying away from each other. It actually added to the calmness of our day. It was a wonderful decision for us, and it lead to one of my favorite mornings ever.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It's our quiet day. He's asleep on one side of me on the couch. Both cats are asleep on the other side of me. And then there's me....making a grocery list and resting a tweaked knee. Certainly not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

This wasn't taken today, but it's a good representation of the scene here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dawning of a new day

We woke up not-so-bright-but-early! It was still dark outside. Now, really, this is probably because we were so worn out that we fell asleep at 9pm sharp! Waking up at 6am is really quite a good night's sleep. I feel refreshed!

The sad part comes first.....funeral in a log church in the woods.

Next comes the merriment.......Scarborough and friends I haven't seen in a year.

Quite a mixed day. I hope I survive the emotional rollercoaster.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday updates and a memory

So, my little herb garden has bloomed are starting to be come recognizable plants. Unfortunately, they look a little pale and weak. I'm afraid my kitchen window sill just isn't allowing the little guys enough good, hearty sunlight. The problem is that I don't have a convenient space outside for my little babies. What's a girl to do?! Get a UV lamp? Has anyone done that?

I am so proud of my workout accomplishments this week! I did two hour-long belly dance practice sessions and an hour Latin fusion dance class plus 2000m on a rowing machine this week. I think that's a decent week's worth of exercise, don't you? And my reward for this effort......? I gained half a pound. (Insert expletives here.) Are you kidding me?! Ugh. Oh well.

Now for the memory....I think this one is appropriate, as Scarborough opens tomorrow. This was Memorial Day 2008. I was in sheer heaven. We were all freshly in love. We'd been together three months. It was a completely wonderful, carefree feeling. We're standing in the field in front of my cabin for these photos. It was such a good day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Making me wait

This week is a week of waiting. It's been a VERY long week due to this waiting.

  • Waiting for the car to arrive at the dealership.
  • Waiting to attend a funeral.
  • Waiting for a friend to make it into town.
  • Waiting for Scarborough to open.

I feel like all I've done this week is count minutes. Every evening has been spent preparing for the very busy weekend ahead. It's hard to enjoy the day itself when it's spent waiting and making ready. I'm tired already. I hope I'm not exhausted by the time it finally arrives.

Anyone else out there having a week like this? It's so draining.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On a personal note

I believe I told you all about the dungeon that magically appears almost every Saturday morning in our front room. Well, we found a way to bring the dungeon from our front room to our wedding. I had the idea of making the groom's cake a mock D&D board. I remember mentioning it during a sort of brain-storming session during our planning and watching my betrothed's face light up. He had no idea that could even happen (or that I'd want it at our wedding). I was all for it! It was actually high on my list of priorities, which made me spend a little more money and a little more time on it.

My groom took this idea and ran with it as well. He actually hand-painted every single topper on the cake. He made a host of epic "bad guys" and made each groomsman as part of the "good guys". Those figurines represented a character that each groomsman had played in a game with my groom. It was their gift to take at the end of the wedding. Oh yeah, my groom made the trees out of twisted copper wire as well. This cake was truly the most personal thing my groom had to represent him, his hobbies, and his friends at the wedding. It was a total hit too! Those that understood it (and it was a small group) absolutely loved it.

Oh, and it was delicious too.

Photos by A Love Story Photography. Cake by Delicious Cakes! Figures by Reaper, painted by my by one.....and some painted twice because he's a perfectionist.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A little redecorating

Did you notice the new banner?! The gorgeous smiling man in that photo made it for me. How cool is that?! I picked the photo. He picked the quote from three about marriage and happiness that I found on I just wanted to put a little something personal for you all to see.

Not only did he do this for me on Monday, but he also picked me up a new cell phone so that I could go to my dance class. Yeah, he's that good.

So, what do you think?! Do you like it?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Edge of Monday

Standing on the edge of Monday, staring out into the week....I am definitely unprepared. Between the emotional drain from the death, the excitement of car shopping, and the chaos of a family Easter luncheon, I am completely spent. And it's only Monday morning. How on earth will I make it through this week??

Oh......I didn't mention the car shopping, did I?! Hmm. An oversight. There is definitely a new car in my hubby's future. Oh yes. Soon, very soon, something spiffy will be next to my beautiful Element outside. I assure you it is definitely not a boring car. As we do not yet possess it, I don't want to jinx anything. I'll show it to you as soon as we DO possess it. Pins and needles till then!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Making the house ready for family. Eggs are boiling for deviled eggs from the fresh eggs the little gal down the street raised. The dishwasher is running to make way for all the plates that will be piling up soon. Ah.....good food then a nap. That's what I hope for today.

We'll see how that goes.

Happy Easter everyone! (Or the preference of your choice, of course.)

Photo from Photobucket.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The compulsion to make casseroles

I've been so very blessed in my life. Things haven't always been smooth or happy, but most things have not been genuinely tragic. I've lost one person I cared very much about, my great grandmother at 82. Yesterday, one of my very best friends, hairdresser bridesmaid, lost her father. He was in a car accident which lead to other issues due to his immobility. He succumbed after a very hard fourteen month yesterday morning, very peacefully. He was such a good man. He literally acted as a stand-in father to me, and I loved him very much for that.

I was oddly surprised by how affected I was by his passing. I can usually be a little cold - or at least, people have told me I can be and I don't deny it. But I found myself at my desk at work, welling up at memories and had an undeniable urge to make casseroles. NOW! So, I left work, bought ingredients, and made two casseroles to take to their family. The casseroles were met with much appreciation and a lot of tears. I'm not quite sure why the death of a loved one requires a casserole, but it does. And I felt so much better afterward. Perhaps it's because we're southerners, and that means that we use food to comfort the soul. If that is the case, I genuinely hope that it worked.

He will be missed, but I hope that they are comforted and carry on.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do you Etsy?

I'm strongly considering selling my beaded jewelry on Etsy. I started making it solely for the wedding, and it seems I can't stop! Since the wedding, I made a thank-you gift for our photographer, a birthday gift for hairdresser bridesmaid, and another birthday gift for maid of honor. A coworker commissioned a piece for our banquet, and I made it specifically to match her dress. I even bought beads for myself on my honeymoon at a quaint shop in the heart of Baltimore. It seems I am firmly addicted to my new craft. I've never considered myself creative AT ALL. So, it's oddly exciting when I come up with an idea for a piece of jewelry and actually manage to make it work!

I opened an Etsy account and named it for this blog: 2ndchancehappiness. I'll let you all know when(if) I have some wares to sell!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It doesn't take much...

The little cabin in the woods I lived in when I met my hubby was so tiny. It was under 400 sq. ft., and essentially one room with a pony wall running down the middle.

The wall had two opening in it, which actually helped the house feel larger. The front was the "living room". The back was my bedroom/kitchen/bathroom. The refrigerator was literally at the foot of my bed. The front room was all windows from about three feet off the ground to the ceiling.

And this is the view those windows gave me every day. The house was tiny, but the yard was literally a field. The house seemed huge when I let the shades up.

The house wasn't exactly luxury living. There was a ton of wildlife and flooding to deal with. But it was a wonderful house for that period in my life. It also reminds me that I can be happy with very little in my possession. That keeps me grounded when I start longing for some silly thing that I don't actually need.

The little house that I feel in love with my husband in will always hold a special place in my memory.